US requires negative coronavirus test for inbound visitors

World | 13 Jan 2021 12:27 pm

Anyone flying to the U.S. will soon need to show proof of a negative test for the coronavirus disease, health officials announced Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirement expands on a similar one announced late last month for passengers coming from the United Kingdom. The new order takes effect in two weeks.

The new coronavirus disease is already widespread in the U.S., with more than 22 million infections reported to date, including more than 375,000 deaths. The new measures are designed to try to prevent travelers from bringing in newer forms of the virus that scientists say can spread more easily.

The CDC order applies to U.S. citizens as well as foreign travelers. The agency said it delayed the effective date until January 26 to give airlines and travelers time to comply.

International travel to the U.S. has already been decimated by pandemic restrictions put in place last March that banned most foreigners from Europe and other areas. Travel by foreigners to the U.S. and by Americans to international destinations in December was down by 76 percent compared to a year earlier, according to trade group Airlines for America.

The new restrictions require air passengers to get a  test within three days of their flight to the U.S., and to provide written proof of the test result to the airline. Travelers can also provide documentation that they had the infection in the past and recovered.-AP



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